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Brent Stirton


Brent Stirton is based out of New York. He specializes in documentary work and is known for his alternative approaches to photojournalism and his prolific work rate. Brent travels an average of nine months out of the year on assignment for Getty Images, working exclusively on commissioned assignment.

Brent holds a degree in journalism from his native South Africa and photographs to visually interpret a story, often working in tandem with journalists from the world's leading publications. He works on a regular basis for the Global Business Coalition against Aids and for Friends of the Global Fight against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Brent also works in the field for sustainability for WWF, the World Wide Fund for Nature, shooting global campaigns on the relationship between people and their environments. He recently also began working for the Ford Foundation and the Clinton Foundation.

Brent is a multiple award-winning photographer, receiving four awards from the World Press Photo Foundation and three awards from the UN for his humanitarian work, including awards for his work in the field of HIV and twice finishing as runner-up in the UNICEF/GEO photographer of the year contest. He has also been recognized for his work on sexual abuse against women in African conflict, and placed second for International Environmental Photographer of the Year 2005. Brent has received two awards from the Society of American Publication designers, the Pictures of the Year contest and has been regularly selected for the Journal of American Photography, Graphis and the London Photographic Awards, as well as a range of other awards.

Brent is obsessively preoccupied with getting to the heart of what he is shooting. His tight shooting schedule means that he seeks rapport with his subject immediately, moving toward the essence of the phenomenon he is seeking to reveal. In this pursuit, he often lights his documentary portraiture. Says Brent, "In the cycle of human drama that is constantly presented to a working photojournalist, I think we have to find new ways to tell an old story. If we don't, we risk that story slipping into oblivion and falling off the radar of collective social responsibility. All I am trying to do is tell that story in the most powerful way I can under the limited circumstance that time brings to any story."

Brent works regularly for the Global Business Coalition Against Aids, the Global Fund, the Discovery Channel, the Ford Foundation, Newsweek, Time, National Geographic, CNN, The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, Le Monde 2, GQ, GEO, CNN and many other respected international titles.

The Price of Progress for Discovery

Papua New Guinea is home to one of the largest expanses of rainforest on Earth. Many of the Paupan people rely entirely on their relationship to the natural world in order to survive. But environmental exploitation has put their existence at risk.

Gorilla Massacre for National Geographic

Photographers Michael Nichols and Brent Stirton explain the significance of the recent gorilla massacres in the Democratic Republic of Congo.